Friday, May 03, 2019

Doepfer Superbooth 2019 Slim Line Announcements

This year Superbooth takes place again in Berlin from May 9-11th.
As promised in a recent interview with Dieter Doepfer, the company will be focussing on the public demand for smaller modules this year.
Especially the live Eurorack performers would love to see these new modules, which are basically smaller versions and re-designs of Doepfer's 'greatest hits'.

The first batch of Slim Line modules will include:
A-111-6, a miniature Synth Voice, quite similar to the A-111-5 and Dark Energy in just a 10 HP wide panel, and the following 4HP wide modules;

A-118-2 Noise Generator/Random/Sample and Hold module
A-121-3 12dB Multimode filter (a la A-121-2 but with smaller knobs))
A-130-2 Dual Liniar VCA
A-138i Interrupting mixer, a four channel mixer with an additional mute switch for each input
A-138n Nano Mixer, a simple four channel mixer, which can be used with either control voltages or audio signals.
A-145-4 Quad LFOs can be treated as a slimmed version of the quad LFO A-143-3 as it has similar features available
and the A-182-2 Quad Switch, a passive module that contains four changeover switches.

More details at
or check the Superbooth PDF

Friday, April 19, 2019

The History and Future of Eurorack Modular Synths with Doepfer by @DivKid and @Flixxx

Early contributors to this blog DivKid and Felix from the Tuesday Night Machine finally had the time to have a talk with Dieter Doepfer at a  recent Thomann event... 

" A rare moment of free time and having great people in the right place at the right time here's an interview with Felix of Tuesday Night Machines talking to Dieter Doepfer, THE CREATOR OF EURORACK at the Thomann Synth Reactor #TSR19 event. 

Felix and I wanted to chat to Doepfer about both his history (the history or Eurorack), his current polyphonic modules, future module sand ideas and a quick look at what the future of the Eurorack might be. 
We also talk about the Elektor Formant DIY synth, the new Frequency Shifter module coming later this year, CV controlled LED lighting, Dieter was also the EU distributor for Doug Curtis' Curtis chips/components, Raul's World of Synths, favourite Doepfer modules and plenty more. "

Check these people out - 
Subscribe for more DivKid videos: 
Be awesome! Support DivKid on Patreon - 

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Doepfer Polyphonic Modules - a conversation with Dieter Doepfer #TSR19 by MoltenMusicTech

Robin Vincent of MoltenModular had the opportunity to sit down with Dieter Doepfer, the inventor of the Eurorack format, and chat about modular with a specific focus on his new polyphonic range of modules. 

" Thomann took a bunch of YouTubers to their shop and told us to go play and make videos. 
So we did. 
This is straight to camera, one take, off-the-cuff, honest and fabulous. 
Thanks to Thomann for the opportunity and thanks to Moog for the loan of the ONE (that I then had to give back). 
Search for #TSR19 for more fantastic videos from fabulous synthesizer YouTubers. "

Molten Modular - 
Molten Music Tech on YouTube (subscribe!) 

Thursday, February 07, 2019

The Doepfer - Kraftwerk Connection

German Krautrock legends Kraftwerk and Dieter Doepfer have worked together for a long time.
As the only one in its industry Dieter Doepfer even may use their name for advertising purposes.

Florian Schneider (Kraftwerk) and Dieter
Dieter: One day i got a call from a Mr. Schneider who wanted to know if we could rebuild a special keyboard into a MIDI keyboard.
The caller was Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk. Schneider experimented much with speech synthesis, and had found a keyboard that was triggering speech sounds (phonemes) in place of letters.

Doepfer's miniature MMK2 keyboard for Kraftwerk
After the modification by Doepfer, Schneider was able to send signals to a sampler in which the sounds were stored.
In the end, the Kraftwerk operator could connect the phonemes with a sequencer into sentences.
Until it worked, Schneider had come several times to Munich, where they got to know eachother better.
Around that time, Dieter installed a MIDI-retrofit on their old EMS vocoder.
Also in the construction of the MAQ 16/3 analog sequencer with MIDI output, the company worked with the musicians.
Florian Schneider was apparently quite involved with the development of the 16/3, being regularly sent updates to the operating system and giving his comments in return.

Dieter: "Since then, we are allowed to use the name Kraftwerk to the device. But we do not want to overdo things"
In 1996 Florian Schneider also wrote a review for a German music magazine 'Keys' about one of the Doepfer company's newest items, the A-100 vocoder module and even contributed a short demonstration of the units capabilities on the free CD that accompanied the magazine.

During 2001-2002 Morgan Karlsson asked Dieter Doepfer about his collaboration with KRAFTWERK:

" Our collaboration with Kraftwerk started many years ago as we made some special designs for them (e.g. the miniature keyboards they use on stage for Taschenrechner/Pocket Calculator and a special phonetic keyboard for voice synthesis).

"Designed in cooperation with the
German Band KRAFTWERK"
The first unit we built in cooperation with Florian Schneider was the MAQ16/3. We built some prototypes and Florian tested them and told us what we would improve and which features are not required.
So we went many times to the KlingKlang studio in Dusseldorf until the final version of the MAQ was complete.

A similar cooperation - but not as close as with MAQ - was made for the SCHALTWERK.
(Kraftwerk also used/tested with a Doepfer MOGLI on stage around that time *PP)

Rumors are that the Doepfer logo was (partly) inspired
 by this 1983 Kraftwerk album font

The next cooperation was the A-100 vocoder.
We tested all of the vocoders of Florian (and that's a lot) and compared them to our A-100 vocoder prototypes (the first versions with different filter designs in quantity and filter response types, e.g. 10 band passes, 8 band passes and high/low pass, 13 band passes and the final version with 13 band passes and high/low pass).
And so we found a very good compromise between price and sound.
Even the very high priced vocoders sounded not significant better than the final A-129.

We learned a lot about vocoders e.g. that a treble boost of the incoming speech signal is very
important for a good vocoder effect (is now included in the A-129-5).
All high priced vocoders imply such a treble boost but the customers is not aware of this detail as there is sometimes no remark in the user manuals.
We experimented together with Florian with a 32 band graphic equalizer to find the best treble boost for good speech recognition and implemented it into the A-129-5."
Morgan Karlsson
Doepfer Keys interview (by the same Florian Schneider)

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Video: The Secret Doepfer Files

I recently found these 2 older videos with Dieter Doepfer from video collective "Open Video Medien Labor", an open non commercial platform for video art.
As far as I know it is an open project - step by step - which could possibly finish with a Doepfer movie.
I like the way it is filmed anyway... but i have the feeling that it might become a looooong project.
I contacted the makers and hope to follow-up this blogpost with more info.

#07 Interview with HANS ZIMMER - A private conversation with Hans Zimmer and Dieter Döpfer
The Secret Doepfer Files from Open Video Medien Labor on Vimeo.
Hans Zimmer: "The reason why I like 'playing music' is because the word 'play' is there."

#08 Backstage Talk with JEAN MICHEL JARRE - after his concert at Philharmonie, Gasteig Culture Centrum in Munich 22.03.2008"
The Secret Doepfer Files 08 - Dieter and Jean Michel Jarre from Open Video Medien Labor on Vimeo.
Dieter Doepfer: "All the bread-and-butter analogue modules are done... most what can be done with analogue circuits is (already) available"

Monday, January 07, 2019

Dieter Doepfer Live at SchneidersLaden/ Berlin

    Dieter baked cookies (yes), gave a modular beginner workshop, did a presentation of his latest products and performed an interesting liveset. 
You can see the  A-197-3 VCO controlled RGB LED prototype in this video too (the dynamic LED control start about at 6:40)

Schneidersladen uploaded four videos of the evening - all worth checking out!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Doepfer A-197-3 Controller for RGB LED Stripes

Interesting that Doepfer's latest modules include some cool small, nifty non-musical utility modules.
Last time they announced the 4 x USB eurorack power supply, and now this one:

" Module A-197-3 is a control unit for RGB LED stripes. The LED stripe is glued e.g. to the inner edges of the cases A-100P6/P9/PMS6/PMS9/PMS12 to illuminate the modules and patching statically or dynamically. Especially during live events the dynamic illumination in sync with the sound is an eye-catcher. Each color (red, green, blue) has available a manual control for the background brightness and a CV input with attenuator that enables the dynamic brightness controlled by other control voltages of the modular system. For example 3 envelopes can be used which also control the loudness or filtering of sound processing modules. But even other control applications are possible, e.g. LFO, random voltages, clock/gate/trigger signals, sequencer, Midi-to-CV.

These are the most important features of the module:
Control module for static or dynamic control of RGB LED stripes with up to 1m length (so far only this length has been tested, with a sufficient external power supply even longer stripes should be no problem)
Manual controls for red, green and blue (small potentiometers without knobs)
CV inputs with attenuators for red, green and blue (small potentiometers without knobs)
Note: the CV inputs are planned for CV signals (e.g. envelope generators, LFOs), not for audio signals with frequency selective processing like lighting consoles
Control LED for each color
supply via the built-in power supply of the case or external (wall-art) supply to avoid the additional current consumption for the LED stripes
(the LED stripes do not require a high quality supply like those built into the A-100 cases)
the external +12V can be connected via a socket at the front panel (i.e. the additional supply is located outside the case) or inside to the pc board (i.e. the additional supply has to be installed inside the case by the customer)
required max. current with 1m RGB LED stripes: about 800 mA @ +12V (all three colors full brightness)
the top left edge of the front panel features a gap for the lead-trough of the LED stripe cable. Therefore the module has to be mounted at the left edge of the case: top left if only the top edge of the case is used to glue the LED stripe, middle left or bottom left if the LED stripe is glued like a reverse "U" to three edges of the case
The pc board is equipped with a pin header which is used to connect the standard LED stripe that comes with the module

In addition the pc board is equipped with a second pin header with 1/10" grid which can be used to connect other LED stripes than the standard type. A suitable female connector with 30 cm long cables with open ends for free wiring is included.
The module is suitable only for LED stripes with 12V power supply and common anode (+12V) with 4-wire cables (+12V/R/G/B).
A suitable 1m long RGB LED stripe is added for free. Due to possible problems during installation (e.g. improper glueing/removing or folding of the stripe) it is not covered by warranty but should be treated as a free add-on.
An external 12V supply has to be ordered separately if required (5.5/2.5 mm connector, plus = center)."
Release date: early in 2019
Edit 7/1/2019 Added Video: The module is shown in action (around 6.40) by Dieter Doepfer himself, filmed a few weeks ago at SchneidersLaden/ Berlin...